March 11: Can social media photos be taken at face value?

Comm-read-Being-wrong-cover-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Technology-savvy Lorena O’English will present “Making Sense of Those Crazy Pictures in Your Facebook Feed” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, in Todd Hall 130, a free public presentation hosted by the common reading program ( at Washington State University.

A WSU social sciences librarian, O’English is passionate about keeping the facts straight, and that applies to what’s communicated using social media and the Web. She will touch on aspects ranging from images to verification methods to intellectual property.

“The perfect storm of the digital camera, photo-sharing sites like Instagram and the rise of Web-based social media networks like Facebook and Twitter has made photographs and infographics hugely popular,” she says. “But should those pictures and charts always be taken at face value? Can we rely on them or are they sometimes … wrong?”

Her presentation springs from topics raised in WSU’s 2013-14 common reading book, “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error.” The book is being used in many first-year classes.

This is the seventh year of the common reading program, which is intended to use a common source to stimulate academic, intellectual conversations around a variety of topics.



Karen Weathermon, common reading, WSU Office of Undergraduate Education, 509-335-5488,

Beverly Makhani, communications, WSU Office of Undergraduate Education, 509-335-6679,